Dick Cheney visited Sean Hannity Tuesday night to tee off on softball questions, warm fuzzy compliments and cement the show’s place as a reliable neocon “safe house”.
Fear is Good, No Mr. Nice Guy
Cheney expounded on Guantanamo Bay and America’s extralegal prison system as a deterrent to terrorism. He believes it’s good to be feared, saying “I think some people – and there were some in our administration who felt (if we’re nicer to terrorists, they’ll be nicer to us). And I wasn’t one of them. This notion that somehow Guantanamo was a major cause of recruitment, a recruitment tool for Al Qaeda – I just don’t think that’s true.” As pointed out by News Hounds, both General Petraeus and Colin Powell said Guantanamo Bay has not helped end terrorism. But Cheney wants us to believe murderous suicide attackers will close up shop once they hear how we escalated the violence. He said “…My experience in that part of the world is people are more likely to respond if they respect and/or fear the power of the United States.”
With five draft deferments, no training or experience in combat and a track record of two quagmires, Cheney also sought to discredit his own generals for agreeing with the Iraq Study group who founds our presence on the ground in Iraq was creating more insurgents then we were eliminating. Simply look at the success of General Petraeus – not only was his strategy to “be nice” to our enemies, he has been paying them using taxpayer money to lay down their arms in Iraq and Afghanistan. This “surge” in Iraq has been the only strategic bright spot in a years-long “fiasco” and a real probing journalist could have caught Cheney in this contradiction easily.
What Iraq Terror Program? What WMD?
When Cheney boasted about having “taken down” the Iraq terror program, Hannity didn’t challenge him, standing ready to ask the next question provided by the publicist.
For those paying attention, it was hard to watch Cheney ballyhoo the invasion of Iraq, unapologetic. Caught lying on live TV about Saddam’s WMD, Cheney next threatened Hans Blix for reporting there were not. Saddam’s WMD were destroyed in 1991 (after the Reagan administration had provided them in the first place). Today, the former VP points to the slippery language of the Iraq Survey Group who wasted $1 billion looking in vain for Iraq’s weapons program. Pressured by George Tenet, the group eventually wrote that Saddam did have the capability to make weapons – if sanctions were lifted.
After saying that a nuclear weapon or biological agent in the hands of terrorists is “the biggest threat we face,” he continued, “…The people we lost on 9/11 would be only a handful compared to what they could do to us if they had a nuclear weapon or a biological agent of some kind. And I think that’s what we have to guard against.”
We know now Iraq had no WMD program but we are facing long-term economic calamity, exactly what Osama bin Laden expressed his aim for the US was. By concentrating on Iraq who had destroyed her WMD programs, we allowed Al Qaeda to beat us on their long strategy as we wasted hundreds of billions in Iraq following Cheney’s fudged intel.
Taking Credit For the Misconstrued
“I worry, when we get into the proliferation of nuclear weapons, whether it’s North Korea, or Syria or Iran – terror-sponsoring states – people that have relationships with terror: Saddam Hussein, Iraq. Those are the ones we have to really guard against. I think we did a good job during a good part of the administration. Clearly, we took down the Libyan program, we took down the Iraqi program, we took down A.Q. Khan in Pakistan, but there are a lot more out there and we need to keep working it.”
And now the truth – North Korea is fully armed, Libya’s nukes are not all accounted for, A.Q. Khan’s network successfully distributed nuclear secrets all over the world under Cheney’s tenure and Pakistan had been successfully harboring Osama bin Laden for years under Cheney’s watch.
Top Bush White House Whistleblower Says He’ll Testify at Cheney’s War Crimes Trial
Democracy Now interviewed Col. Lawrence Wilkerson today, Colin Powell’s former chief of staff. Wilkerson admitted he put together Powell’s crucial February 2003 presentation to the UN Security Council about Iraq, using intel he should have been told was discredited. He called it “the biggest mistake of my life…I will regret that to my grave.” The same speech, Wilkerson said ruined Powell’s chances for higher office, claiming the war hero was exploited as the only Bush era official who had any credibility. Once Powell signed off, we went to war.
Wilkerson agreed Cheney is “profiting off” his “sleazy, sensationalistic, self-serving book, basically profiting from his crimes” and at the same time normalizing these unconstitutional policies. Wilkerson said, “I’d be willing to testify, and I’d be willing to take any punishment I’m due.”
Sean Hannity has never dared mention Wilkerson who exposed the Iraq war as a “hoax” beginning in 2006. If he was fair and balanced, he would have Bush whistleblowers debate the events live on the air so they can be refuted. Originally appearing on PBS and MSNBC, Wilkerson’s discussions of Cheney “war crimes” are now being covered by ABC, CBS, Washington Post, New York Magazine and many others. Whitewashing Wilkerson, Hannity and Fox are, as usual, too biased to be considered reliable.